How to Decide Whether You Should Forgive or Forget

Author: PeopleFinders on July 23rd, 2018
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Whenever someone hurts you, it’s an upsetting experience. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, the fact is that they hurt you, and it makes an impact on you regardless of how intentional it was, or even how much damage it did. Even forgetting an important date can be extremely upsetting! When someone does harm you, many people tell you that you should either decide to forgive them for what they’ve done, or forget it happened and move on as though the incident didn’t impact you. Both of these are things people often suggest, but many people aren’t sure what they mean exactly. Here’s how to decide how you’ll proceed when it comes time to forgive or forget.

Consider whether it was intentional or not

When someone hurts you, their intentions matter significantly. Even if they weren’t trying to hurt you, it was still harmful. But intentionally harming you likely means that they have some bad intentions toward you, which is something you’ll have to work through with them before you do anything. Unintentional missteps might be much easier to forget, especially if it’s due to someone forgetting something. If they continuously forget things, and it seems to be something they’re genuinely working on but having a difficult time with, you might be able to introduce them to ways that they can improve their memory. Even unintentional slights, however, can grow to be too much if it’s repetitive. This could mean that they don’t appreciate you enough to avoid hurting you, and that’s important to think about.

Think about the severity of the offense

If it’s something small that hasn’t significantly affected your quality of life, it’s much easier to forget it and move on with your life. But if it’s seriously impacted you, even if they don’t seem to understand the severity, you have the right to ask them to try to make it better. Also, consider whether it’s affected other people close to you, or even people you don’t know. Something that has widespread effects is much more damaging than something that only affected you, and it’s likely that those people also want the offending party to make things right.

Consider whether or not the person is likely to apologize

Sometimes, even if someone is in the wrong, they will refuse to apologize. Whether it’s because they don’t think it was important enough to warrant an apology or they don’t think they’ve hurt anyone, they might not want to apologize to you or anyone else. If you’ve tried to explain that they should apologize, but they refuse, you have a few options. You can forgive them without an apology, which requires that you extend another chance to them without their asking for it. The second option is that you can cut off contact with them. Or, third, you can forget the incident ever happened and move on without thinking about it again. Remember, however, that you can’t do this forever. If they continue to hurt you and others around you without remorse, it might be better to cut off contact.

Talk to them about setting up safeguards for future missteps

If they are willing to apologize and work things out with you, it might work well to set up some basic safeguards to prevent the problem from happening again. For example, if you’re working out an occurrence of your partnering cheating on you, it might be a good idea to set something up where you’re able to check on them every once in a while. In situations like these, PeopleFinders can be extremely helpful. You can use the reverse phone lookup to find information on anyone calling from an unknown number, or run a People Search on your significant other every so often to make sure there’s no new contact information that you don’t know about. If you have their permission for this kind of thing, it can help rebuild trust and maintain a good relationship for the both of you.


Deciding whether to forgive or forget is difficult, and can take some time to deal with. But if you do decide to forgive, and you choose to stay with the person, it’s a good idea to discuss how to keep the problem from happening again. A good way to do that is to mutually agree that you can keep tabs on them using PeopleFinders. It’s simple, effective, and fast. And it means that you don’t have to hound them. Instead, you can have a good relationship, content in the knowledge that you don’t have to worry about being hurt.

Categorized in: Relationships